A community pharmacy long-term conditions service is improving the quality of life of patients, and providing cost effective solutions for the NHS, research has found.
The Community Pharmacy Future (CPF) programme, whose work was used as the basis for new community pharmacy contract proposals put forward by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), was found to help patients achieve health goals that had been set with pharmacists.
The CPF was formed by multiples Boots, LloydsPharmacy, Rowlands and Well, to develop, implement and evaluate new models of care in community pharmacy to support primary care teams in managing patients with long-term conditions.
Its most recent project has been to develop a pharmacy care plan (PCP) service for patients in West Yorkshire, using validated clinical tools to support patients with multiple long-term conditions.
Over a 12-month period, 38 community pharmacies, including independent and supermarket pharmacies, supported 378 patients through the PCP service. Overall, researchers found significant increases in levels of patient activation, self-reported medication adherence, and self-reported quality of life. They also found the service could be considered cost effective.
Some 93% of patients who attended a first appointment as part of the plan agreed one or more health goals with the pharmacist. Of these patients, 39% achieved one or more of their goals.
The study was carried out by academics from the universities of East Anglia and Nottingham, and published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy.
Commenting for the CPF programme, Clare Kerr, head of healthcare policy and strategy for Celesio UK, said: “The design, delivery and evaluation of this service has grown the ever-increasing evidence base for the value of community pharmacy, which was one of the key goals for this project.
“Either the full-service package, or elements of it, can easily be integrated into wider primary care models, supporting patients with multiple long-term conditions to become more activated and better able to self-care, improving their potential outcomes and reducing the cost of their care to the system.”
Alastair Buxton, director of NHS Services at the PSNC, said: “This service has demonstrated the capability of community pharmacy teams to innovate and embrace new ways of working.
“The publication of this research supports PSNC’s development proposals for the contractual framework, which we have recently submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England. A community parmacy care plan service sits at the centre of our proposals, which is based on the approach taken in the Community Pharmacy Future II project.”